Can BIM rescue a project?

We’re proud to be supporting homeless charity, Trinity Winchester with its ‘Under One Roof’ project, providing on-site accommodation for people who are sleeping rough.

Yesterday, I attended the groundbreaking event and was delighted to see Hyphen’s design for a new residential wing beginning to be built.

This new residential wing includes 12 ‘flatlets’ (all with ensuite bathrooms).

We were first approached by Trinity Winchester thirteen years ago, when they were in the process of being evicted from their previous home.

Winchester City Council, a very supportive local authority had identified a fantastic site where they could develop a new centre. Substantial funds had been raised but, unfortunately, a scheme had been drawn up which was far in excess of their budget. The site fell within a level 3 flood zone and was bounded on three sides by waterways. I use the term “drawn up” advisedly, as the scheme had been developed in the traditional manner – lines on paper and a 3D image in the designer’s head. In this case, it was CAD lines within a 2D environment however, the principle is the same as that used by master builders back as far as ink on parchment. A simple analysis of the design showed that it was overly elaborate, complex, uneconomic and poorly conceived in three dimensions.

In 2006, Revit BIM was just emerging onto the architectural market however, we had been running it for a few years prior. It quickly became clear to us that not only did it improve the productivity, responsiveness and delivery speed of our service, but it critically enabled us to develop our design ideas within a 3D environment and thereby, quickly work through hundreds of iterations – improving the scheme at each stage before reaching an optimum design solution. Using these techniques for the new Trinity Centre, we were able to arrive at an efficient design, simple in plan form and economic to build. The scheme developed reduced the cost by over 40% whilst delivering the same area and was recognised with a local design award.

Since 2006, we have gone on to use the Revit BIM platform to deliver thousands of projects across the UK and Europe – some over 100,000 sqm. Each has benefited from our in-depth knowledge of the software however, the Trinity Centre remains perhaps the most tangible example of a project which was literally saved by BIM!

We have continued to work with and support the Trinity Centre, raising money through their sleep outs and other activities such as the Trinity Firewalk and we’re delighted to be involved again with the ‘Under One Roof’ project.